For our third year, we headed up to Eugene last week for the Black Sheep Gathering. We camped in the field behind the fair grounds and slept to the sounds of sheep: baa, baa, baa and an occasional middle-of-the-night outburst from the homeless people who passed by, displaced by a crowd of campers.
This year, I tried something new. Seeing a call for volunteers for the Wool Show on Ravelry, I offered to help. I figured that helping would be even more fun than just watching the wool judging, which is what I do most of the weekend. Also, it would keep me busy since I really don’t need anything from the market. I had a great time moving fleeces around and learning more about wool from a different judge this year. Then I kept super busy on Saturday taking payments during the sale. And the fleece flew out the door! I showed amazing restraint and just split one fleece with my friend Connie, who also helped with the judging all weekend.
One thing that was really interesting was seeing some women spread out a fleece in order to split it. It was BIG. And I learned that fleece are made up of varying qualities from one area to the other. The best fiber is on the back, and even which side the sheep sleeps on will affect the quality. There’s so much more to learn.
Doesn’t it look lovely all spread out there? There were tons of gorgeous fleeces. If I didn’t have a mountain of wool in my house already, I surely would have come home with more.
Besides working at the wool show and a quick trip through the market and the sheep barns (I loved the newly born lambs!) we went to dinner with the husbands (who were sorely neglected but kept themselves busy.) This trip we ate at Cornucopia, which has a varied selection, including several vegetarian choices. And it is said they have good beer, too. It was extremely busy there and service was slow, but the food was good. We also returned to the Koho Bistro for a fine dinner. They are on the pricey side, but the food is excellent.
The other activity that I really enjoy is spinning outside in our camp. This year Connie brought a canopy and we added a wall to keep the wind out. The weather was rather cold and windy most of the weekend. I bought some bright orange roving from Aunt Janet to make the husband a hat. It reminds me of the safety orange jackets my dad loved when he worked on the city street crew. Even though orange is not my color, I’m enjoying the cheerful effect it has on me. It’s like summer flowers.
I always enjoy the drive up and down the Oregon coast, but it sure did tire us out. Today was spent recovering, reorganizing, and battling some raging hayfever. Sleeping in a grassy field always sets it off. I did spend a little time spinning outside on my porch today, enjoying my new lettuce and herb garden. Oh, and making up to the cat, who is not at all happy that we have been gone so much this month. She sat watching me spin and giving me cranky looks.
We have a three days at home, four more away, and then back to stay put for a while. Sounds like summer, right?